Eric Adams, the recently elected mayor of New York City, is aggressively working to remove homeless people from abusing the city’s public transit systems.
The Associated Press reported that Mayor Adams wants to keep New York City’s homeless population from sleeping in the city’s expansive subway system and prevent them from riding “the same lines all night.”
Adams’ plans to remove more than 1,000 homeless people who have been using New York’s rail system for shelter.
On Friday, the mayor who previously referred to homelessness as a “cancerous sore” said that the city will begin to deploy more police and mental health workers throughout the city’s transit network.
The New York Times reported that Adams said, “No more just doing whatever you want. Those days are over. Swipe your MetroCard, ride the system, get off at your destination. That’s what this administration is saying.”
“People tell me about their fear of using the system,” Adams continued, “And we’re going to ensure that fear is not New York’s reality.”
Many of the homeless who use New York City’s subway system target the system’s passengers for harassment and in violent crimes.
The mayor said, “There are many rivers that feed the sea of homelessness, and we have to dam every river if we are going to address this issue.”
Starting on Monday, the city will enact a zero-tolerance policy known as “The Subway Safety Plan.”
The plan acknowledges the difficulty of removing homeless people from using the subway and preventing them from using it for warmth and shelter.
The policy document that details the plan stated, “For too long, our subway system has also confronted a painful humanitarian challenged playing out right in front of our eyes. Too many New Yorkers experience homelessness in our stations and our trains each night.”
It continued, “We have also seen violence on our subway platforms and stations. And while we know homelessness and violence do not equate and must not be conflated, we must also acknowledge that a small minority of individuals who may be experiencing several compounding challenges at once, including behavioral health challenges, must be reached with immediate interventions to prevent deterioration and potential danger.”
“We have seen the lives of innocent New Yorkers taken, simply coming into a station to take a train,” the document stated.
The Subway Safety Plan unflinchingly states that New York City’s subway system exists “to move paying customers from one point to another. They are not meant to house individual or provide recreational space.”
In the era of COVID-19, rampant violent crime has come to be one of the defining characteristics of New York City. Eric Adam’s won the mayoral election by taking an anti-crime stance and vowed to restore law and order. The Subway Safety Plan appears to be one of the first steps in accomplishing this goal.